During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace pressed Vice President Mike Pence on why President Donald Trump did not notify House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in advance about the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Wallace said, “The president was asked specifically whether he had informed the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi about this raid last night, and he said no and then he added I wanted to make sure that no American forces were lost. The implication seeming to be that he was worried that Pelosi or members of Congress would leak this. Does the president not trust the Speaker of the House with sensitive national security information?”
Pence said, “I don’t think that was the implication at all. I think from the time that we got actionable intelligence, the president’s total focus here was on a successful mission and the safety of American troops.”
Wallace pressed, “Why didn’t he tell Nancy Pelosi?”
“We maintain the tightest possible security here and when we got the confirmation on Saturday that al-Baghdadi was on site and our troops began to move into the region has the president said, our aircraft were moving over some very potentially hostile areas. We wanted them to be able to get in and get out, it’s a dangerous mission on the ground. They went with the resolve in the determination as president to bring al-Baghdadi to justice but they also went with our prayers and I just couldn’t be more proud. When they were wheels up out of country, no American casualties and al-Baghdadi is dead.”
Wallace continued to press Pence, “We all applaud that. I do want to ask you, it is my job as a newsman, respectfully, why didn’t the president notify speaker of the House?”
“I just want to emphasize the president’s focus here throughout particularly the last several days was on the mission to bring a man who was the most wanted man in the world, a man who had brought unspeakable violence through the isis caliphate, who was exporting violence throughout the world to justice and that combined with ensuring the safety of our forces coming in from executing the mission and moving out was the president’s directive throughout this effort and I know it animated every decision that he made along the way. ”